Late submission of coursework

If life has conspired against you to prevent you from meeting an essay deadline don’t despair, the University has a late submission policy that may be able to grant you an extension.

The University policy for taught students on late submission of coursework can be found in the Code of Assessment which is at section 16 of the University Calendar (Fees & General Information).

If you hand in your work late, without a good reason for doing so, your mark will be reduced by two secondary bands for each day late. Anything over five days late gets an ‘H’ (i.e. zero marks).

Example: Emma’s essay would have been worth a B3. However it’s two days late and she doesn’t state a good reason why. Therefore her mark is reduced by four secondary bands, giving her a D1.

If you do have a good reason why you can’t hand work in on time, then it makes sense to ask for an extension. There are a couple of different rules, depending on the severity of the situation and how late you are in submitting the work.

Up to 3 days

Your course convenor has the power to give an extension of up to three days without any late penalties being applied to your work, provided you have a reasonable basis for needing the extension.

If you were unable to ask for an extension beforehand (because of whatever the circumstances are that are making you late with the work) then it’s still worth bringing your circumstances to the attention of your course convenor as they may still exempt you from the late penalties.

More than 3 days

If you need an extension of more than three days then you will need to apply under the ‘good cause’ rules. These are also in the Code of Assessment. There is no definitive list of what constitutes ‘good cause’, but things like being ill or injured, or other exceptional circumstances such as a death in the family are likely to be included. If you can establish ‘good cause’ for your late submission then the late penalties can be waived. See also the Student Absence Policy.


If you disagree with your School’s decision about late penalties, you have the right to appeal. Please see our page on appeals for further information about this.


If you have any questions please feel free to contact the SRC Advice Centre.